At the last weaving session of the 2007 Pegasus Systems Thinking conference, Tom and Sharon shared some of what they’d heard in conversations throughout this event, including many comments about the loneliness of being isolated in our organizations and how good it is to be here among so many ‘kindreds’
They talked about Van Jones, who was consciously changing the terms of the conversation by inviting groups that don’t usually sit together into a powerful conversation of collaboration that has the potential to change our world.
Van had been beating his head against the system to the point he’d collapsed, and the system didn’t even say “ouch”. This morning Tom was looking out his window (the views in this hotel are stupendous) at the water and the elevated railway and the streets below and suddenly had the realization that he was LOOKING at the system, and that we are creating a system here together. Watching the dawn arise, he noticed that dawn actually begins before there is any light. The light gradually increases, almost imperceptibly, and then the dawn chorus arrives and the vibrant bands of color that announce a new day.
“Who and what are the heralds of the new day in our lives and organizations?” he asks us, “And how can we establish a relationship with them, and the new day that is dawning in our lives and in the world?”
Sharon suggests that maybe the heralds are in our dreams, and shared an urgent communication from a young autistic child who had dreamt about us, and felt that we needed to know about ‘the yellow card’, so he asked her to share his dream with us.
Sharon described the yellow card as an imaginary strip, almost like a gauge – a line with 5 marks on it with which to measure emotions. If one were feeling angry for example, the could stop and look at the strip to determine just how angry they were and what to do about it. For example, if it said ‘1’ you’d know that you were just a little irritated and you could ignore it and walk away. If it said ‘2’, you’d be a little more irritated and probably a bit frustrated, but you could still just walk away and maybe do a couple of wall push-ups. If it said three you were probably pretty angry and would need to breath a lot. If it said ‘4’ you were really mad and would have to take your yellow card and get out of town for a while! If it said ‘5’ you’d know you were really furious and you’d probably need to go get a glass of water!
So we end the weaving with a few questions for conversation in our small groups, “What are the 3-5 images or metaphors or phrases from this conference experience that will stick with you?” and “What is one thing you’ll do tomorrow to take this image forward in your life?"
Tom and Sharon both remarked on the progressive change of tenor in our collective conversational voice as we’ve moved through the conference. From the excited, slightly ungrounded beginnings to the deepened voice of relationship, of old friends, today.
We’re left with two more questions to take away “How do you make this experience part of “home” for you?” and “How do you imagine home will be different because of your time here?”
* * *
For the next part of the chronological harvest, click here to hear about the last hosted Conversation Space.